THERE ARE BETTER DAYS AHEAD

Rick Sweeney
3 min readJan 8, 2021

There are better days ahead. That may seem like a ridiculous thing to say in these dark days. Covid is out of control. Hundreds of thousands have died. Millions have been infected. The vaccine is on the way, but the roll out is slow and inefficient.

Our nation is deeply divided. That division boiled over into violence and insurrection. The side that lost felt the need to storm the Capitol building urged on by a president who can’t accept the truth of his loss in the election. Many of his followers believed his lies and followed his command to take over by violence. This is the kind of thing we see in countries dominated by dictators. It was tragic and frightening to see it in our own country. Lives were lost. People are going to have to answer for their crimes at some point.

Why would I start with a prediction that better days are ahead when things are so dark? Maybe it is a sense that things can’t get much worse. But I truly believe that health and sanity can be restored. The vaccine is getting into arms much slower than it should be. But there are vaccines. Sometime in this year, millions of Americans will get the shot that ends the fear and isolation that we have endured this past year. There will come a time in the not-too-distant future when the light will shine once again.

As to the nation, the first thing that needs to happen is for the temperature to be lowered. We have to find a way back to understanding that the people who disagree with you politically are not the enemy. We have to re-establish the fact that our country and our democracy are more important than partisan political interests or allegiance to a demagogue who has no respect for the rule of law.

It won’t happen overnight. Tempers are running high. But it will happen. And it is not a matter of Republican verses Democrat or conservative verses liberal. Everyone has to look at those images of mob rule and take a deep breath and recalculate the importance of law and of telling the truth. I have always had respect for the Republican Party. It was good and healthy for the country to debate the merits of ideas concerning economics and social issues. But now the Republican party must clean house and get back to what made it the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.

Democrats must stop demonizing Republicans who supported Trump. Give them a chance to correct course and get back to what they are, the party of conservatism. We must all start to listen to one another and respect the opinions of those who disagree with us. They are not the enemy. The enemy was seen on Wednesday at the Capitol. As long as we are committed to the truth and the rule of law and respect for each other, we can heal. We can continue the debate the best way to govern and thus preserve our democracy.

If you won the election, don’t gloat. Reach out to the other side and find ways to work together. If you lost, get over it. If each of us in our own way can overcome the anger and ugly spiritedness, we can find our way to a brighter future. I believe in the American people enough to believe that we can do that.

I am not sure what politicians mean when they say, “God bless America.” When I say it is a fervent prayer that God will indeed bless us with a better future. I ask you to pray it with me and believe that it will happen.

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Rick Sweeney

The Reverend Dr. Richard Sweeney, Rick, is a retired Presbyterian pastor and author. Rick lives with his wife, Prudy, in Greensburg, PA.